Most Israelis don’t want an Arab [Palestinian] party in future government, election poll shows

Haaretz  /  June 13, 2022

Over 50 percent of Israelis surveyed by Channel 12 News believe the ruling coalition – which includes the United Arab List – should not remain in power, and if elections were held today, the pro-Netanyahu bloc would be the biggest in the Knesset, but still shy of a majority

More than half of Israelis don’t want an Arab [Palestinian] party in any future government, according to a public opinion poll released Monday amid a deepening political crisis that has pitted some members of the ruling coalition against the United Arab List.

The Channel 12 News poll also showed that 56 percent of Israelis believe the beleaguered Bennett-Lapid coalition should not serve out its term.

When asked “Are you in favor or against having an Arab party in the coalition in the future?” 56 percent of respondents said they were against it, and 31 percent said they were in favor.

Fifty-one percent of Arab citizens were supportive of a Jewish-Arab cooperation in the government, while 62 percent of the Jews were not, according to the poll.

Only 35 percent of those surveyed said they believed the ruling coalition should remain in power.

Just over a year ago, coalition leaders managed to bring together a rare alliance of parties from across the political spectrum, including the United Arab List, and ended Benjamin Netanyahu’s 12 consecutive years in power. But a series of defections and internal squabbles between its members now threaten its stability.

According to the Channel 12 poll, if an election were to be held now, Netanyahu’s Likud would remain the biggest party in the Knesset, with 36 out of 120 seats.

The bloc of parties supporting Netanyahu, now in the opposition, would have 60 seats altogether, according to the poll – similar to a survey published on Friday by Channel 13 News – putting it one seat short of a majority.

Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party would have 20 seats, followed by Benny Gantz’s Kahol Lavan, with 10. Overall, the parties that are now a part of the ruling coalition would have 55 seats.

The poll also shows Gideon Sa’ar’s New Hope party failing to pass the 3.25-percent electoral threshold, leaving it out of the Knesset.

According to the poll, the Arab-dominated Joint List – which sits in the opposition – and Mansour Abbas’ United Arab List would each get five Knesset seats, as would Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s Yamina and Finance Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu.

Left-wing Meretz party would get four seats, according to the poll, making it the smallest party in the Knesset.

The poll, conducted on Monday by pollster Mano Geva, included responses from 508 Israelis, surveyed both by phone and online. It has a 4.4-percent margin of error.

The latest crisis threatening the coalition began last week, when a government-backed legislation renewing emergency regulations applying Israeli law to West Bank settlers failed to pass a Knesset vote.

On Monday, Yamina lawmaker Nir Orbach announced he will not vote with the coalition until it extends the bill, but said he does not intend to vote in favor of dissolving the Knesset and leading to another round of elections.